Disgraced Former Heritage Employee Says Author Of Racist Book Was His ‘Childhood Hero’

Jason Richwine, the former Heritage Foundation staffer who wrote a PhD dissertation claiming that “new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren,” told the Washington Examiner’s Byron York that such quasi-eugenic ideas have fascinated him for a long time. Indeed, Richwine identified Charles Murray, co-author of the Bell Curve, as a “childhood hero.” Murray’s Bell Curve posits that black people are less intelligent than whites, and that this disparity is due, at least in part, to genetics.

As York’s piece explains, Murray played a crucial role in shaping Richwine’s dissertation:

I began by asking about his interest in the topic of race and IQ. How had that started? He had read Charles Murray’s “The Bell Curve” when he was a student at American University in Washington, Richwine said, and was fascinated by the author’s approach to a complex topic. . . . While Richwine was at Harvard, Murray visited Cambridge and Richwine told him about his research project. The result was a two-year fellowship at the conservative American Enterprise Institute in Washington, where Murray has long been a scholar. The fellowship gave Richwine the opportunity to finish his doctoral work while also getting a start in the world of Washington think tanks. “It was wonderful,” Richwine recalled. “Few grad students get that kind of support and get to work with their childhood hero.” Indeed, Richwine’s dissertation acknowledgements make special note of Murray. “The substance of my work was positively influenced by many people, but no one was more influential than Charles Murray, whose detailed editing and relentless constructive criticism have made the final draft vastly superior to the first,” Richwine wrote. “I could not have asked for a better primary advisor.”

In addition to paving the road Richwine traveled in his scholarship, Murray more recently suggested that “benevolent sexism” may be “healthy” and “grounded in the nature of Homo sapiens.” During the most recent GOP presidential primaries, former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) cited Murray’s work to defend Santorum’s views on “the dangers of contraception.” Shortly after news broke that Richwine was no longer employed by Heritage, Murray suggested that Richwine’s former employer did not stick up for him in part because Heritage President Jim DeMint does not possess testicles:


Richwine left Heritage shortly after news of his views on race broke. Charles Murray, by contrast, is still employed by AEI.